Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

My Monster Secret volume 19

Anime News Network informed us today that volume 21 of Noragami has finally hit bookstore shelves. It feels like we translated it forever ago, but maybe it was just last October or November... At any rate, that had me thinking, because it's the first Noragami since we started Review Rednesdays that we didn't write a review for. So I wondered if there were any books out that we have written reviews for and not posted. The first one on our list (and possibly the only one; we found one and immediately decided to post it) is My Monster Secret 19, which Amazon tells us came out in January!
So here's our review of it! Spoilers ahead!


Oh my goodness, we finished work so miraculously early today, it's unbelievable! I mean, there's a slight chance we'll end up regretting not take a little more time on it today when we get to the edit, but that's not important right now. The important thing now is that we have time to write a review! We're feeling pretty free and easy right now, which is not quite the opposite of how we felt when we translated this volume of My Monster Secret. We had about three days to finish this and another very time-consuming translation, and we were not happy about it. But we like this series a lot better than the other one, so, since the other one was due first, we finished it and got it out of the way, and then we only had one rush job. And while it was annoying to have to rush on such a text-heavy series, it still felt better than working on the other, text- and research-heavy series.

We fell super far behind on reviews, so I tried to keep mental notes on everything. I failed with Hatsu*Haru, I think, but this volume made it easy by being divided into three equal sections. The first three chapters were the Nagisa conclusion and wrap-up, the next three chapters were comedy filler, and the last three chapters were "let's advance the main story" (but in this series' usual way of disguising main story as comedic filler). Now let's see if I can remember any more than that...

So Nagisa and Future Nagisa have a battle of ideals, and of course Present Nagisa wins because that's how this kind of thing works. And Future Nagisa fades away with a bright smile on her face. D'awwwww. Meanwhile, Akane is forcing Asahi to watch so he can see the consequences of his wishy-washy behavior. I think that was fair.

Next, the whole class does their Space Kaguya play, and we learn (but are not surprised) that the whole thing was basically a review of Nagisa's life on earth. It was touching how Mikan and Shiho went off script so they could say their goodbyes, and it came across nice and dramatically in the manga, but I do find myself wondering why they couldn't have waited until the play was over. I mean, it's not like Nagisa's mother planet was going to beam her up as part of the actual finale. I'm pretty sure the fact that they let her stay to do the play at all indicates that they're reasonable enough to say, "Yeah, go ahead and wrap up anything you're working on on Earth." And you could say that maybe they only just realized during the play, but they had been rehearsing for a while, so it's not like there was any new information. Oh well. It didn't really seem like the play was ruined or anything, so I guess it's all good.

In the next chapter, Asahi finds Future Nagisa wandering around, and I kind of really liked his reaction. It was a really nice chapter, though, because she was mostly there to let Asahi know that even though he broke her heart all those years ago, things worked out just fine for her, and he didn't need to worry about ruining Nagisa's life. And we find out that she never erased her memories, which...still leaves the question about whether the memory erasing device really works, other than just causing amnesia. I'm still curious about the flashback we had when she did her whole rant about wanting to kill Present Nagisa--the one with Asahi and someone who looked like Youko huddling in a ruined building. She also went around telling people that Youko is not who Asahi marries. So there are still a few mysteries with Future Nagisa, but I'm sure we'll learn more about them later.

The next chapter was the best, because! a lot of the lines were adapted versions of the ones from the Nagisa/Nagisa showdown, so they didn't take a lot of thought on our part. ...Hopefully the English adaptation writer will pick up on that, because we didn't leave a note. Hm. Anyway, it made it easier for us! And it was nice to see Ryo get some comeuppance. The bonus manga at the end tells us that Nagisa wasn't heartless enough to actually leave without telling her brother, but I think we can all agree that she wasn't entirely unjustified if she had decided to disappear without a word. And the fight over Shimada was just...I don't even know. So funny and so wrong at the same time.

Then there was the devilish girls chapter. That one was...typical, I guess. Karen was adorable as always. We're pretty sure that if someone had tried to chop up peppers and put them in our food that we would notice, so nice try, Karen. I'm kind of with Genjirou about the whole thing. It's nice of her to insist on being a devil because it's the result of all of Touko and Genjirou's searching, but I think they searched for the halo because they liked her the way she was. I mean, she's still adorable, but insisting on being a devil is like a huge reminder that they never did manage to find the halo. It was super cute how she trained Youko and Rin, though.

The next chapter was the very best handcuff episode I have ever seen in my life. In an attempt to help Mikan and Okada both happy, Fuku-chan works her random magic, and the two of them end up handcuffed together, and it was comedy gold. I mean, I could tell you more about it, but that would ruin it. You're just going to have to take my word for it that it was awesome. It also brings up an important point, in that we learn that Mikan is aware of Okada as a potential love interest, but she hates the idea, and that leads her to doing even more cruel things than she might do otherwise. We think this may be an important plot point as we move on with the story...

Youko's birthday is coming up! And good boyfriend Asahi braves a girly store to get her a present. Oh my goodness, this chapter was pretty hilarious, too. That store really does carry everything. And I love how, since this series' target demographic is boys, it takes advantage of the fact that they probably never have been in girly stores, and it plays to that mystique without losing any realism. It's really quite brilliant. And then Asahi invites everyone to a big birthday party, and for the first time in her vampiric life, Youko is able to celebrate her birthday with friends. Awwwwww. That actually did make me tear up a little. It was really sweet.

And finally, because Karen gave Youko couple's tickets to Disney Destiny Land, the last chapter is them going on a date. We learn that being a vampire has actually made Youko very shy and insecure, and she wishes she could just do all the normal things everybody does. I love Asahi's reaction--how he's like, "Well, there are some people who can't handle this thing or that thing, and nobody thinks it's a big deal." As a super picky eater who doesn't like major thrill rides, I really appreciated that. And he promises that they'll keep her secret and graduate together. But the beginning of the chapter had a flashback to Touko and Genjirou in an extremely similar situation, making the same promise, and we know that that didn't work out. And worst of all! Mikan is going through all the pictures from Youko's birthday party and realizing that Youko doesn't show up in any of them. She puts two and two together and comes up with Youko is the Afterschool Vampire! Dun dun DUN!

At first I was like, "So? They're friends now. What's the problem?" The problem is Mikan is still in love with Asahi and Okada's pursuit of her is putting her on edge. There's no telling what she might do! The suspense! The drama! What will happen next!? Tune in next time and find out!


We do have a review of the next volume of this series, but not of either of the two last ones. It's sad, but what's done (or not done) is done (and still not done (the memories are way too fuzzy to try to do it now)). On the bright side(?), we just got our comp copies of this volume and the previous one today! Anyway, it is a nice series, and I'm glad we got to translate it.

Today I'm thankful for getting to post a review, making really good progress on work, getting to evolve some more Pokemon, having time to exercise, and finally hearing about one of our favorite titles that we translate and hadn't heard about in a very long time.
Tags: my monster secret, reviews
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